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  • FIRST POST
    • coffeehound
    • By coffeehound 17th Nov 19, 10:22 AM
    • 3,596Posts
    • 6,636Thanks
    coffeehound
    Beware of retirement flat schemes
    • #1
    • 17th Nov 19, 10:22 AM
    Beware of retirement flat schemes 17th Nov 19 at 10:22 AM
    https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/nov/16/flat-retirement-builder-value-mccarthy-stone

    Perhaps even more shocking is the council tax bill on Cross’s one-bed flat, which has spiralled to £3,000 this year and is heading to £4,500 next year – or more than the tax on a multimillion-pound mansion in Mayfair.

    When Cross first inherited the flat in 2015, the estate agents put it on the market for £143,000. But there wasn’t a sniff of interest. It was reduced to £135,000, then £120,000. Cross changed agents seven times. The valuation kept falling – to £99,000, then £89,000, then £69,000, then £59,000. But even at this price, he can’t find a buyer.

    Why not? Cross blames what he describes as the “punitive” service charge on the one-bed flat. Last year the charge was £562 every month – equal to £6,744 a year, although this year it dropped back to £519 a month. On top of that, the ground rent is a further £415 a year. In other words, a retired person could be paying nearly all their state pension in service and ground rent charges.
    Nightmare
Page 1
    • Be Happy
    • By Be Happy 17th Nov 19, 4:37 PM
    • 1,204 Posts
    • 528 Thanks
    Be Happy
    • #2
    • 17th Nov 19, 4:37 PM
    • #2
    • 17th Nov 19, 4:37 PM
    Rather a dramatic headline, based on one retirement scheme.

    Things are different here in Scotland. I've been in my retirement flat for 2 years now. We looked at the scheme when the development was built in 2001 and I still have the brochure showing one bedroom flats for sale then at £33,000 and two bedroom at £66,000. These are now selling at £95,000 and 135,000.

    Service charge is £100/£150 a month and there was no increase in this last year due to the slight increase being offset by the factor finding a cheaper building insurance policy and estimated costs being less than expected. At the annual meeting the factor's management fee was 0.5% more than the increase in state pensions and when this was pointed out, the factor agreed to reduce their percentage increase to the same amount.

    We have an exit fee on selling a property of 1% of the selling price - not extortionate.

    To top it all, we have the often mentioned 'dreaded' Comfortplus heating. My flat is always warm and my monthly DD is only £40. Based on last year's figure, SP wanted to decrease it to £33 at last annual renewal, but I asked for it to stay at the previous £40 to cover any colder weather this year.

    We have regular meetings between residents and our appointed factor and get on well with the factor.
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 17th Nov 19, 9:56 PM
    • 27,196 Posts
    • 71,379 Thanks
    pollypenny
    • #3
    • 17th Nov 19, 9:56 PM
    • #3
    • 17th Nov 19, 9:56 PM
    There has been concern expressed over these unsaleable places for years.

    You're lucky if Scotland has legislated to stop the rip-offs.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
    • venison
    • By venison 17th Nov 19, 10:58 PM
    • 4,012 Posts
    • 5,744 Thanks
    venison
    • #4
    • 17th Nov 19, 10:58 PM
    • #4
    • 17th Nov 19, 10:58 PM
    There is no way council tax would increase by 50% in one year, although I do agree these place are to be avoided at all cost.
    Dont blame me I voted Labour
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 18th Nov 19, 9:20 AM
    • 27,196 Posts
    • 71,379 Thanks
    pollypenny
    • #5
    • 18th Nov 19, 9:20 AM
    • #5
    • 18th Nov 19, 9:20 AM
    There is no way council tax would increase by 50% in one year, although I do agree these place are to be avoided at all cost.
    Originally posted by venison


    It was because the property had been empty for some time, meaning triple charges I think. This was brought in to prevent buyers just using property as an investment, leaving them idle.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 19th Nov 19, 7:13 AM
    • 24,148 Posts
    • 64,944 Thanks
    Pollycat
    • #6
    • 19th Nov 19, 7:13 AM
    • #6
    • 19th Nov 19, 7:13 AM
    There is no way council tax would increase by 50% in one year, although I do agree these place are to be avoided at all cost.
    Originally posted by venison
    It was because the property had been empty for some time, meaning triple charges I think. This was brought in to prevent buyers just using property as an investment, leaving them idle.
    Originally posted by pollypenny

    From the article:
    Council tax has turned into a nightmare for Cross. He showed Guardian Money his latest bill from Folkestone and Hythe council. Although the one-bed flat is only a band B property – one band above the lowest valuation – this year’s bill is £2,969.44. Next year it will rise to nearly £4,500.
    Cross has been caught by the empty homes premium, an initiative designed to bring longstanding empty homes back into use. It allows councils in England to double the council tax on properties empty for two years, and triple it if they have been empty for five.
    As Cross’s home has sat on the market since 2015, the local council has applied the doubling in tax, and can triple it next year.
    • Murphybear
    • By Murphybear 21st Nov 19, 8:22 PM
    • 5,244 Posts
    • 9,872 Thanks
    Murphybear
    • #7
    • 21st Nov 19, 8:22 PM
    • #7
    • 21st Nov 19, 8:22 PM
    There is no way council tax would increase by 50% in one year, although I do agree these place are to be avoided at all cost.
    Originally posted by venison
    The newspaper article said the council tax was heading towards £4500 pa which is blatantly rubbish. I looked it up, the flat address was in the article. As a one bedroomed property the maximum council tax would be £1400 ish

    No idea if the rest of the article was wrong.

    I knew some people who live in a McCarthy & Stone property. They are really lovely but sound like a financial nightmare.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 21st Nov 19, 9:32 PM
    • 40,293 Posts
    • 37,739 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    • #8
    • 21st Nov 19, 9:32 PM
    • #8
    • 21st Nov 19, 9:32 PM
    The newspaper article said the council tax was heading towards £4500 pa which is blatantly rubbish. I looked it up, the flat address was in the article. As a one bedroomed property the maximum council tax would be £1400 ish
    Originally posted by Murphybear
    You are not taking the 'empty home premium' into account. See the posts above yours.

    Yes, once the property is sold the CT will reduce, but until it is sold, the estate has to pay it.
    Still knitting!
    Completed: TWO adult cardigans, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees, 2 sets of handwarmers, 1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 3 balaclavas, multiple hats and poppies, 3 peony flowers, 4 butterflies ...
    Current projects: pink balaclava (for myself), seaman's hat, about to start another cardigan!
    • p00hsticks
    • By p00hsticks 21st Nov 19, 11:28 PM
    • 7,281 Posts
    • 8,134 Thanks
    p00hsticks
    • #9
    • 21st Nov 19, 11:28 PM
    • #9
    • 21st Nov 19, 11:28 PM
    The newspaper article said the council tax was heading towards £4500 pa which is blatantly rubbish. I looked it up, the flat address was in the article. As a one bedroomed property the maximum council tax would be £1400 ish
    .
    Originally posted by Murphybear

    So once it's tripled for being empty for five years that £1400 turns into £4200 ish
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